Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from F-J

Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton

flora antarctic gardens expeditions

(1817–1911) British botanist: plant taxonomist, phytogeographer and explorer.

As a young boy, Hooker’s mother described him as ‘not very clever’ and as ‘croaky Joe’ (he suffered from a persistent cough). Predictions based on her views would have been wrong on both counts: as an adult he was both clever and physically tough, surviving expeditions at extremes of both latitude and altitude.

Educated at Glasgow in medicine, Hooker became assistant surgeon and naturalist on Ross’S Antarctic expedition of 1839–43 on board HMSS Erebus and Terror . His books Flora Antarctica, Flora Novae-Zelandiae and Flora Tasmaniae were a result. He travelled widely in India, Palestine and the United States, where he spent 3 years collecting plants. There followed his Himalayan Journals (1854), Rhododendrons of the Sikkim Himalaya (1849) and his seven-volume Flora of British India (1872–97). He undertook further expeditions to Syria and Palestine, and to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. He became director of Kew Gardens, succeeding his father, Sir William J Hooker (1785–1865), who had created the gardens.

His friendship with led to his being instrumental, with , in presenting the joint communication of Darwin and on the origin of species to the Linnean Society and in persuading Darwin to publish The Origin of Species . He joined with in producing the magisterial Genera plantarum (7 vols, 1862–83), giving their important system of classification; and was an authority on Antarctic flora. He became president of the Royal Society in 1873.

Hooks, Robert (1937–) [next] [back] Hooker, Richard (1554–1600) - BIOGRAPHY, CRITICAL RECEPTION

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or